AUTUMN LITERARY LUNCH 2016

Wednesday 9 November, 12 for 12.30
Top of the Terrace, Norwich City Football Club

JOIN US FOR ONE OF OUR MOST POPULAR EVENTS OF THE YEAR

We are delighted to welcome Richard Dannatt, D.J.Taylor and Clare Harvey.

Our Literary lunches are invariably popular and successful, the perfect way to hear several great authors speaking about their recently published books. We welcome you to a fine 2 course meal presented by Delia's Canary Catering and the pleasure of listening to all the authors as they entertain us after lunch.


Tickets £29.50, available from Customer Services, floor 2 or online. Includes a 2 course lunch and coffee.
If you have any dietary requirements, please call 01603 660661

Richard Dannatt - Boots on the Ground

About the book

On Lüneberg Heath in May 1945, the German High Command surrendered to Field Marshal Montgomery; in 2015, seventy years after this historic triumph, the last combat units of the British Army finally left their garrisons next to Lüneberg Heath.

Boots on the Ground is the story of those years, following the British Army against the backdrop of Britain’s shifting security and defence policies. From the decolonisation of India to the two interventions in Iraq, and, of course, Northern Ireland, the book tracks the key historical conflicts, big and small, of Britain’s transformation from a leading nation with some two million troops in 1945, to a significantly reduced place on the world stage and fewer than 82,000 regular troops in 2016. Despite this apparent de-escalation, at no point since the Second World War has Britain not had ‘boots on the ground’ – and with current tensions in the Middle East, and the rise of terrorism, this situation is unlikely to change.

Richard Dannatt brings forty years of military service, including as Chief of the General Staff, to tell the fascinating story of how the British Army has shaped – and been shaped by – world events from the Cold War to the Good Friday Agreement to the EU Referendum. Whether examining the fallout of empire in the insurgencies of Malaya, Kenya and Dhofar, the extraordinary battle for the Falklands, the long-standing conflict in Northern Ireland or Britain’s relationship with NATO and experience of fighting with – or for – America in Iraq and Afghanistan, Dannatt examines the complexity of a great British institution.

The Author
General the Lord Dannatt GCB CBE MC DL served in the army from 1969–2009, during which time he led troops in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Kosovo and held the positions of Commander-in-Chief, Land Command and Chief of the General Staff. On retiring from the Army, he was Constable of the Tower of London from 2009 to 2016. His autobiography is Leading from the Front (Corgi, 2010).

Clare Harvey - The English Agent

About the book

How far will two women go to survive a war? Having suffered a traumatic experience in the Blitz, Edie feels utterly disillusioned with life in wartime London. The chance to work with the Secret Operations Executive (SOE) helping the resistance in Paris offers a fresh start. Codenamed ‘Yvette’, she’s parachuted into France and met by the two other members of her SOE cell. Who can she trust? Back in London, Vera desperately needs to be made a UK citizen to erase the secrets of her past. Working at the foreign office in charge of agents presents an opportunity for blackmail. But when she loses contact with one agent in the field, codenamed Yvette, her loyalties are torn.

The Author
Clare Harvey is an ex-army wife. The Gunner Girl, her debut novel, was inspired by her mother-in-law's experience during WWII and written while her husband was on active service in Afghanistan.

D.J.Taylor

About the book

Are you a snob? Am I?  What are the distinguishing marks? Prepare to meet the Political Snob, the City Snob, the Technology Snob, the Property Snob, the Rural Snob, the Literary Snob, the Working-class Snob, the Sporting Snob, the Popular Cultural Snob and the Food Snob. Snobbery is a vital part of the social glue that binds us all together.

‘A snob, all the evidence insists, is one who delights in making judgements that are based on arbitrary criteria: wanting a duke’s approval of your books rather than a professor of literature’s, making assumptions about a householder’s worth based on the tidiness of his box hedges, assuming that to live in Yorkshire is morally better than to live in Essex. On this reading, snobbery exists in all walks of life, at all social levels and in all social categories, and is as likely to be found in a refugee camp or at the checkout at Aldi as in a moated grange or the library of a Pall Mall gentlemen’s club. Most left-wing Labour MPs are snobs. Jeremy Clarkson is a snob. George Orwell, when it came to preferring claret to colonial burgundy or dressing for dinner, was a snob. The Scottish Nationalist is a snob. The Merseysider who ostentatiously talks through his nostrils and employs the stop fricative in order to pronounce ‘Those’ as ‘Dose’ is a snob, as is the non-Merseysider who moves to Liverpool and makes a point of trying to talk like the natives. The parents who, when casting a suspicious eye over their child’s university application form, mutter the words ‘Isn’t that a former polytechnic?’ are snobs. Evelyn Waugh, who as a teenager habitually walked down the road from his parents’ house in Golders Green, London NW11 to post his letters in Hampstead so they should be dignified with the NW3 post-office frank, was a colossal snob. The row of council houses in Hodgson Road, Norwich, where my father lived in the 1930s was, according to his recollection, an absolute hotbed of snobbery, with each of the sixteen resident families gamely contriving to prove that they were superior to the people next door. Snobbery, it might reasonably be argued, is a key to our national life, as vital to the backstreet family on benefits as to the proprietor of the grandest stately home, an essential element in our view of who we are and what the world might be thought to owe us.’

The Author
D.J. Taylor was born in 1960, went to Norwich School and St John's College, Oxford, and is the author of two acclaimed biographies, Thackerary (1999), and Orwell: The Life, which won the Whitbread Biography Prize in 2003.  He has written eleven novels, the most recent being The Windsor Faction (2013), joint winner of the Sidewise Award for Alternate History, Derby Day (2011), long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, At the Chime of a City Clock (2010), Ask Alice (2009) and Kept: A Victorian Mystery (2006).  

David is also well known as a critic and reviewer, and his other books include A Vain Conceit: British Fiction in the 1980s (1989) and After the War: the Novel and England since 1945 (1993). His journalism appears in the Independent and the Independent on Sunday, the Guardian, The Tablet, the Spectator, the Wall Street Journal and anonymously, in Private Eye. He is married to the novelist Rachel Hore.  They have three sons and live in Norwich.